Recipe books club (weekly writing challenge – recipeaweek)

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We are all addicted to cookbooks sometimes and buy atleast a couple of them in our lifetime or have bought a few which are lying on our shelves for ages. Have you ever tried any of the recipes in them?
Ofcourse we might have tried a couple and would have our own experience on trying out recipes from a recipe book. Some would have a very positive feedback from those who tasted your food some would have faced a tough time with recipes turning up wrong. A few reasons why recipes turn up wrong are either your doing it the wrong way or you have no experience or basic knowledge of cooking.
Thats what I have experienced.
Yes ,I did think that knowing to cook a few meals like rice and curry would be sufficient and buying cookery books will teach me all I need to know about cooking, baking and grilling etc.
It was my self confidence until I had a failure in trying out the recipe which I followed step by step.

But why did I fail to bring up a simple cake by following the recipe step by step?

Yes thats a question.

Has the cookbook author written the recipe wrong?
Ofcourse not, if so would it be published by a famous company. Let alone the famous publisher. People wouldn’t buy such books. People buy cookery books as they trust its the truth unlike novels which is not real but a hobby for some and many read for the joy of reading and passion or for educational purposes.

Then what went wrong when I did bake a cake for the first time in my life?
It was the measurements.
I had never baked nor used a measuring cup when I first baked a cake. So I had no basic knowledge of baking which is why my cake batter went wrong.

Failure is the first step to success

Thats true my failure in baking a cake without any basic knowledge of baking encouraged me to join a class to learn the basics of cooking which was very useful in my life.
I started making delicious meals for my family.
Later on I started creating dishes on my own by watching television programmes and following recipe books.
Finally I found a part time job on recipe writing, editing and rewriting. I started earning a small income which helped me buy stuff online and now am really glad I went for a cookery class.

You might be wondering why one needs cookery classes when the technology has developed so much and finding recipes is just a click away and learning basics is also easy by following videos and tutorials which are freely available online nowadays, but when I was 16 I dint have a facebook, Gmail nor a mobile phone with gprs. I dint have many friends, I was home schooled.
Now dont stop thinking “ok, this story is good for someone who is home schooled and has less friends”
It can be true in some instances but trust me

“What you learn through experience is way too expensive than learning online”

What I learnt through experience is that every recipe has a small difference.
Especially When its baking you need to take care of measurements and temperature which might turn your recipe down.
When it comes to cooking learn the basic and you can create the toughest dish in the world.

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The first book I followed when I was 17, yes I know its too old to start cooking but I dint wanna learn until then.

The Challenge

Here is the challenge with details on what you need to do to be a part of this contest.
The very first challenge is to try a recipe by following a book you’ve had for some time no matter how long. Post the recipe with an image of the dish and the book cover.

Tell us how you did it.
Did you follow the instructions step by step?
Was is easy to understand?
Was the measurements in cup or grams?
Did you find it easy to convert the measurements?
If possible give us a step by step image of your dish.
And do not forget to include the comments you got from the testers.
Make it fun by adding pictures of you kid tasting it (if you like only)

Publish the post before next Thursday.
The winning post will receive a recipe free!
And the best part is you get to choose which recipe you want and we will email it to you.

So get going and start making.

If you dont have any recipe books thats ok, go ahead and give us a story about your own recipe book which you’ve treasured for ages or which has been passed on to you by your mother or grandma.
Get pictures of the book it doesn’t matter if its old with torn pages.

There are no rules for this contest apart from one rule.
Always include an image and tag the post with (recipe book club, weekly recipe challenge, recipeaweek)
And leave a link below on the comments section.

Good luck

old is gold

mafaza

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Idly love

Idly love

I spent Most of my childhood and teen days frequently traveling to India.
In that way I had the opportunity of tasting various different types of Indian food. India being a very large country with many states I usually went around the south. Indian food is very delicious and has thousands of different types of food. I have many favorite dishes. I love the idly’s specially.

idly’s are very soft and delicious served with gravy called sambar made of dhal with a combination of various vegetables and/or coconut chutney.
Whenever I go to an Indian restaurant I order idly’s.

During one of my trips to India me and my sister went out to buy some idly for our dinner as our parents went out and asked us to get something from the shop and eat. We bought 15 idly’s with sambar and chutney. Idly’s were hot and smelling great with some extra aroma which came from the combination of heat from the idly and banana leaves which they were wrapped in.

I couldn’t wait to start so me and my sister washed our hands and sat down to eat we dint even finish eating an idly when the power went off. My sister was waiting for the generator to be switched on.

I was so in love with the idly’s and feeling very hungry not that I was but for the aroma of idly I couldn’t wait, so I started eating one by one without counting. Finally the power came and the lights were back. My sister was glad the power came back and happily looked down at the plate to start eating. She was shocked. She asked me where are the idly’s, I told her that I couldn’t wait for the power to come so I ate it in the dark but dint count how many I ate. We were supposed to share and eat. I started counting and realized I had eaten 10/15 idly’s. I told my sister i’ll get her more from the shop and she said she was fine. Later as our parents returned to the hotel my sister started telling them what had happened and they burst out laughing. Many years later my dad told the story to an Indian friend of his and they also started laughing.

The next day dad’s Indian friend told us he will send us a treat, and as we were told he came to the hotel to see us with a very large container about one and a half foot long.

We started to open and see what was in and we found idly’s with a separate basket of sambar and chutney.

I was laughing all the way as I ate. I couldn’t believe they had taken so much trouble to make my favorite food.

After moving in to Dubai with my husband I always ask for Indian food. Recently we went out for dinner to saravana bhavan one of the famous vegetarian restaurants in India with branches in any countries. I ordered idly for me and I was thinking of getting an extra parcel so that I can take home and eat in peace, being a very shy person to eat in public I was too shy to ask for more idly’s as my husband’s friend was paying the bill.
I was not satisfied with what I ate then so I held on to my appetite until the next week and bought a few idly’s for my weekend lunch.

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Idly love

Idly love

I spent Most of my childhood and teen days frequently traveling to India.
In that way I had the opportunity of tasting various different types of Indian food. India being a very large country with many states I usually went around the south. Indian food is very delicious and has thousands of different types of food. I have many favorite dishes. I love the idly’s specially.

idly’s are very soft and delicious served with gravy called sambar made of dhal with a combination of various vegetables and/or coconut chutney.
Whenever I go to an Indian restaurant I order idly’s.

During one of my trips to India me and my sister went out to buy some idly for our dinner as our parents went out and asked us to get something from the shop and eat. We bought 15 idly’s with sambar and chutney. Idly’s were hot and smelling great with some extra aroma which came from the combination of heat from the idly and banana leaves which they were wrapped in.

I couldn’t wait to start so me and my sister washed our hands and sat down to eat we dint even finish eating an idly when the power went off. My sister was waiting for the generator to be switched on.

I was so in love with the idly’s and feeling very hungry not that I was but for the aroma of idly I couldn’t wait, so I started eating one by one without counting. Finally the power came and the lights were back. My sister was glad the power came back and happily looked down at the plate to start eating. She was shocked. She asked me where are the idly’s, I told her that I couldn’t wait for the power to come so I ate it in the dark but dint count how many I ate. We were supposed to share and eat. I started counting and realized I had eaten 10/15 idly’s. I told my sister i’ll get her more from the shop and she said she was fine. Later as our parents returned to the hotel my sister started telling them what had happened and they burst out laughing. Many years later my dad told the story to an Indian friend of his and they also started laughing.

The next day dad’s Indian friend told us he will send us a treat, and as we were told he came to the hotel to see us with a very large container about one and a half foot long.

We started to open and see what was in and we found idly’s with a separate basket of sambar and chutney.

I was laughing all the way as I ate. I couldn’t believe they had taken so much trouble to make my favorite food.

After moving in to Dubai with my husband I always ask for Indian food. Recently we went out for dinner to saravana bhavan one of the famous vegetarian restaurants in India with branches in any countries. I ordered idly for me and I was thinking of getting an extra parcel so that I can take home and eat in peace, being a very shy person to eat in public I was too shy to ask for more idly’s as my husband’s friend was paying the bill.
I was not satisfied with what I ate then so I held on to my appetite until the next week and bought a few idly’s for my weekend lunch.

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Why Vada pav???

Pav means a type of bun halved in the centre and greased with some butter, usually served with a potato, carrots and green peas mixture made in a specific method in a large tray like griddle and is called pav bajji, it tastes so delicious. I remember the days when I went shopping at T.nagar during my visits to India we used to look for one specific shop that we believe has the best pav baji in the area. The shop is chips and chips. They sell the best pav baji.
Whatever the time is we made sure we had a set of pav baji before the shop closes in the middle of a large amount of shops all which had something that was interesting after all I am a shopaholic.
So having moved In to Dubai and craving for some spicy food I decide to have vada pav for breakfast one day. I have never seen nor tasted a vada pav before even during my visits to India.
When the cashier was mentioning the two vada pav’s while he entered the amount I was expecting to taste a vada inside the pav bun.
As I came home and started investigating the vada pav I had one question in my mind. The question is why did they name it vada pav? There was no vada inside it was a bondha.
I love bondhas and I learnt through the Internet how to make bondhas and I really enjoy making them regardless of it being a deep fried food.
Why din’t they name it bondha pav?
I have another question now and still haven’t found an answer am gonna tweet and see if anyone would like to give me a clear answer.
Whatever it is called it tastes really good with a tempered green Chillie across it.
Now that’s what I want isn’t it? yes, spicy food!

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All words, images and opinions are mine.

Street food – Bhel puri

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Bombay chowpathy is an Indian restaurant that has branches in three malls that I am familiar of and am not sure how many more branches they have. There food is incredible and delicious not to mention the idli quantity although its only 2 per pack which costs 7 dirhams yet the taste is good.
I always love having Indian food having lived in India for a couple I years I fancied Indian food.
Especially Indian street foods. There are a wide variety of street food in India and a few of my favorites are bajji, masala vada, dhal vada, bondha and pakora to name a few. Every morning with my tea I used to have those sweet fried flat item and I really liked it. There are many more Indian street foods I have not mentioned above and two of those are bhel puri and pani puri. I have never tried pani puri but I did try the bhel puri once, although I dint like it much then and I can’t remember the taste now, I decided to try it when I went to get some dinner at Bombay chowpathy.
It was my first try in 10 years. As I scooped a few spoons of the bhel puri thinking it would be spicy I was surprised there was a spicy, sweet and pickly flavor with some crunchiness.
Yes it was delicious.
The pickly caramelized onions, mango which was raw but had a sweet coating like a sweet pickle and a potato mixture, a few puris etc.
Yes I really enjoyed my bhel puri on my way home.
Street food is alway delicious and better consumed in smaller portions.

Street food – Bhel puri

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Bombay chowpathy is an Indian restaurant that has branches in three malls that I am familiar of and am not sure how many more branches they have. There food is incredible and delicious not to mention the idli quantity although its only 2 per pack which costs 7 dirhams yet the taste is good.
I always love having Indian food having lived in India for a couple I years I fancied Indian food.
Especially Indian street foods. There are a wide variety of street food in India and a few of my favorites are bajji, masala vada, dhal vada, bondha and pakora to name a few. Every morning with my tea I used to have those sweet fried flat item and I really liked it. There are many more Indian street foods I have not mentioned above and two of those are bhel puri and pani puri. I have never tried pani puri but I did try the bhel puri once, although I dint like it much then and I can’t remember the taste now, I decided to try it when I went to get some dinner at Bombay chowpathy.
It was my first try in 10 years. As I scooped a few spoons of the bhel puri thinking it would be spicy I was surprised there was a spicy, sweet and pickly flavor with some crunchiness.
Yes it was delicious.
The pickly caramelized onions, mango which was raw but had a sweet coating like a sweet pickle and a potato mixture, a few puris etc.
Yes I really enjoyed my bhel puri on my way home.
Street food is alway delicious and better consumed in smaller portions.

Fried Bread

Have you got a loaf of bread that expires today or tomorrow?

Have you got loads of recipes but lazy to make yet don’t wanna waste food?

Then here is a simple, easy and delicious recipe.

Try it out you will love it.

It’s called fried bread. I read somewhere that fried rice was prepared using left over rice during the earlier days in china. although fried bread was also prepared using left over bread this recipe is different to fried rice yet tastes equally delicious.

I love this recipe and will end up eating half a loaf of bread forgetting the carbs.

Guys there is always a substitute for every ingredient except for salt. so for those of you who are very conscious of their carbs and calories intake adjust the quantity and type according to your preference eg; use flax seed bread instead of white bread.

If you have trouble finding mustard seeds or if its allergen to any one member in your family please do omit it.

health is wealth”

“waste not ,want not”

This recipe is ideal for breakfast or dinner.

Ingredients

a loaf of bread

2 onions (chopped)

a few green chillies chopped (I use around 8 I prefer very spicy)

a handful of curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

salt and crushed pepper to taste

olive oil for stir frying

Cooking Instructions

heat a wok with sufficient amount of oil over a medium flame.

temper onions and curry leaves until the onions turn golden brown in color.

stir in green chillies and mustard seed. mustard’s will splatter so keep away while adding them.

turn of heat.

chop the bread into bite sized pieces about 1 inch it doesn’t have to be a good shape as they will break once you add so just tear it and stir into the onions and mix well until the bread is coated with oil and the onion mixture is evenly distributed.

sprinkle salt and crushed pepper.

turn on heat and cook for a few minutes over a medium flame stirring continuously.

serve the bread by itself if you’re not a fan of wet food.

for those who hate having dry food serve with a bowl of chicken/mutton/fish or soya curry.

 

(c) COPYRIGHTS MAFAZA HALEEM

Street Food Shawarma

Have I been away from blogging for a long week or less with no posts? Oh, my that’s kind of unbelievable for me. Yea blogging is almost my full time job. Everywhere I go or whatever I do I think of writing an interesting article from the information I gather. Yesterday was a very fine day, had a long drive from Jumeira village circle to deira. Here in Dubai the temperature is around 30-40 during the night, I am guessing based on the weather report I heard a few weeks ago. I never checked it since then will be checking after this, these days have been very busy. But believe me it’s so hot and you can never spend the night out in the streets walking for too long unless someone invents a cooler like a sweater. Walking along the streets close to al wasl or souk as they call it, everywhere you smell the exiting mouth watering aroma of grilled chicken, Which is grilled in a skewer placed along a grill vertically for almost a day or so, hot and spicy as you can call it to the Arabian level of spiciness, where as my level is way to adventurous, as we opt for a bit extra spiciness. Let’s get back to the grilled chicken, there is a grilled beef option as well. Both are delicious but chicken is my favorite when it comes to a shawarma. Shawarmas are a flat bread or Rotti filled with those grilled chicken or beef, a vegetable salad and some tomatoes with a couple of spoons of humus which goes really well with the Arabic flat bread/Rotti that is used for the shawarmas, always served with a slice of pickled green chillie, carrot, jalapeño or gherkin. I got some pictures but unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of the shawarma as I had no patience to wait till I get home to eat it, the lovely smell of the shawarma said eat ‘ASAP’ so I ate it in the car. I really enjoy eating while driving. Oooops! I dint mean it that way, I wasn’t driving my hubby was!!!

 

 

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Seafood pizza

Ingredients

For the Dough
Wheat flour 3 cups
1 tsp baking powder
Half and half 1/2 cup
Olive oil 2 dsp
Egg 1/4 yolk and white
Salt 1 tsp
yeast 1 tsp
Sugar 2 tsp
Warm Water 1 and a half tbsp
Cold Water to knead as required

Topping
Any sort if sea food that you like I used squid and prawns 1/2 cup each
1/2 an onion
1/2 a tomato
1/4 a bell pepper
1/4 cup Olives
Tomato paste 1 cup
Tomato ketchup 1 tbsp
Chill paste 1 tsp
Chillie powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper 1 tsp
Parsley dried 1 tsp
Olive Oil 1 dsp
Mozzarella cheese 1 cup

cooking instructions

Dough
Mix the yeast,sugar and water and let it rise for about 15 minutes. Mix all the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients and knead to soft and smooth dough and leave it to rest for about 1 hour.

Topping
Cut and chop all the ingredients to about 1 cm piece. Boil the seafood and mix with salt pepper, dried parsley and olive oil. Mix the tomato paste,tomato ketchup, chillie powder, chillie flakes and salt in a separate bowl and leave aside.

Roll the dough to a 1/2 inch thick perfect 8 diameter circle and place it on a microwave tray, apply the tomato mixture above and sprinkle the onions,tomatoes,bell pepper,green chillies,olives and the seafood.Later sprinkle cheese and bake for about 20 minutes.
If your baking in a normal oven bake it for 25 mins.
If you’re using a microwave + grill oven then bake it on the tray for 15 min and shift it to the microwaves grill and bake for another 5 min more as some microwave pizzas get soggy at the bottom.

Using a microwavable silicone baking tray will evenly cook the pizza at the bottom.

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this seafood pizza is worth a try with generous amount of seafood topping which gives it an extra flavor.

Mascarpone cream

Ingredients

80 gms mascarpone cream cheese I used cream kraft cheese
250 ml whip cream
Sugar 30 gms
1 tsp Vanilla essence

Method
Whip the whipping cream with sugar and vanilla essence until it’s frothy.
Add the cream cheese and mix with a spatula thoroughly to incorporate but do not over mix as the texture of the whipped cream might go. Once your done with the mixing spoon the mixture into a bowl and freeze.

Serve with pouched pear, it tastes well by itself too.
Keeps well in the freezer for a couple of days.

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